Archive for April, 2009

Protected: Finally, good news

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Protected: Groundhog Day

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Rite of passage

Hugo had his first ever haircut today (I swear the decision to cut it was not related to the hairstyle Hunter gave him yesterday!)

We’ve been back and forth about cutting it for ages. I’ve felt torn about it because he’s my teeny tiny baby and I don’t want him to go growing up on me. Leigh thinks there’s some value in him being able to see where he’s going.

For months I’d just about agree to get it cut and then someone would mistake him for a girl, and then I’d get all pissy about it and refuse to cut it. Leigh thinks in addition to needing to see where they’re going, children need haircuts that are not related to their mothers’ moods. She’s very difficult to live with.

Anyway, I finally gave in and today he got it chopped. I was apprehensive about the baby-to-boy transformation, but it turns out to not look that different. I didn’t want a super short cut so I asked the hairdresser to just take off some length all over and make sure it was not hanging in his eyes.

The hairdresser was fantastic. She took the time to talk to him and play with him a bit first then she set up a portable DVD player with a Wiggles movie that totally distracted him while she got on with it. He just sat there sweet as could be till she was done.

I didn’t get a great after shot before he went off to bed so I will try to get one when he wakes up, but here are some progress pics:

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When kids dress themselves..

Hugo chose the top, Hunter created the hairdo.

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More wedding planning

Every time I turn around, leigh’s added another thing to the list of tasks she thinks she might just take care of herself. So far she’s signed herself up for:

– making the invitations
– making the placecards
– making table decorations
– making the bouquet
– setting up the tables and chairs and tablecloths and drinks and so on and so on on the morning of the wedding
– making the cake

All the stationery stuff I can live with. I think that’s a great idea. She’s clever and creative and a total perfectionist so I know she’ll do a fabulous job with those. In fact, the guest book is already done – made from scratch – and it’s sweet and beautiful.

I’m less convinced about the bouquet and floral decorations since we’ll have rather a few other things to do on the morning of the wedding, but leigh insists it will only take a few minutes. Not too sure about that but she seems set on it.

The thing I’d really like to outsource is the cake. What we want will require several layers, which will each need about an hour of prep and over an hour of cooking, before the decoration even begins. Leigh’s working the week before the wedding and with the 790,642 other things on her list I don’t see how she can possibly fit it in.

Which is how I somehow agreed that I would bake the cakes for her to decorate. Which is why I am currently baking the first of two layers I plan to make today to see if I am actually capable of baking cakes that (1) taste good (2) come out the right size and shape (3) can be layered without collapsing and (4) will last long enough after baking to still taste fresh on the day, because there’s no way I will have enough time to make them all on one day, and because I’m damned if I am cooking anything at all on my wedding day.

I’m expecting to have to make a lot of adjustments to get it right so I predict a lot of cake baking between now and november. This does not exactly go well with the weight loss plan, so there’ll be lots of cakes at playgroup and in leigh’s staff room over the next few months.

and in other wedding news

I am so excited and delighted for our friends in Iowa, whose marriages will actually be legal!


When Kate and Trish Varnum decided to sue the Polk County recorder for denying them a marriage license, they knew that in some ways life would never be the same.

Their names would forever be linked to the case now famously known as Varnum v. Brien. They would have to open up their private lives for public inspection as some Exhibit A in the bid to put a human face on gay relationships.

But they didn’t hesitate because, as Trish said, “We’re fighting for something bigger than us.”

Way bigger, as it turns out.

Thanks to their actions, and those of five other couples who were plaintiffs in the lawsuit that brought Friday’s historic ruling, same-sex couples from anywhere who otherwise meet the criteria of Iowa’s marriage laws will be able to get married in this state. That is their constitutional right, Iowa’s Supreme Court said.

In fact, any hardship or hostility the Varnums might have anticipated didn’t materialize. Instead, they’ve been amazed by the support and affirmation they’ve gotten, even from strangers, like the farmers market vendor who left her table to compliment them.

“It has been a wonderful adventure,” said Trish, smiling broadly and speaking into the mike at a news conference Friday.

News of the ruling was announced to the plaintiffs in view of the press, drawing tears, kisses and a shriek of “Yes!” from Kate. Addressing the room from the podium, she said, “We are blessed to live in Iowa.”

They could have gone to Canada or another state where same-sex marriage is legal. But they didn’t want to. Iowa is their home. And it is where courts have a long and illustrious legacy of ruling in favor of equal rights.

The Iowa Supreme Court barred slave ownership 26 years before the constitutional amendment that did that nationally was ratified. It ruled against school segregation years before Brown vs. Board of Education. It was one of the first states to uphold women’s rights to own property, and the only state to defeat a proposed McCarthy-era law requiring teachers to take loyalty oaths. In 1869, Iowa was also the first state in the nation to admit women lawyers to the bar.

Why Iowa? asked a reporter at Friday’s press conference. “Iowans have never waited for others to do the right thing,” said Camilla Taylor, an attorney with the Midwest regional office of Lambda Legal. Lambda brought the suit on behalf of the plaintiffs.

And Iowa will “set the standard for fairness and equality in the Midwest,” said Carolyn Jenison, executive director of the gay advocacy organization, One Iowa.

The Varnums don’t expect life to change dramatically for them, though they hope to marry in the fall. They’ve been together eight years and are committed either way. And either way, they’ve been working on adopting a child. Marriage would give them rights and standing with regard to property, visitation matters and life-or-death decisions.

But what will change is society. It will need to come to terms with its discomforts and prejudices and recognize that though change can be unsettling, same-sex couples are just as legitimate as heterosexual ones.

“Get married,” Iowa attorney Dennis Johnson, a co-counsel on the case, told the couples from the podium Friday. “Live happily ever after. Live the American dream.”

And so, they can.

Change, however sweeping or fundamental, begins with one or a few individuals who recognize a wrong and put themselves on the line to right it. That’s America’s tradition – and today, once again, it’s Iowa’s pride.

Congratulations, Kate and Trish! We’re happy for you – and proud of you.

It makes me wonder, though – if three states in the US can do it, why can’t a supposedly progressive country like Australia do it?

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No, it was not an April Fool’s Day prank

we really did spend a good chunk of last night at the Children’s Hospital at Westmead.

Stunt boy repeated his trick of a couple of months ago – pulled elbow. Last time it was quick and easy to deal with – it had reduced itself somewhere between our house and triage, and a mix up at the hospital meant we were seen in five minutes flat (nurse practitioner mistook us for the other pulled elbow case who’d been waiting who knows how long).

Last night’s episode wasn’t so quick.

It all started when my little darling was jumping off the couch. He likes to climb over the back of the couch (head first, of course) then stand on the edge of the seat and launch himself off, laughing maniacally. He lands on his feet just about every time, but last night he clipped his toes on the edge of the seat and landed face first.

To begin with he didn’t even seem hurt. He popped his head up and laughed like crazy. Then when he went to get up he started crying suddenly like something hurt. And then we noticed he was not using his left arm. He told us “I jump. Fall. Break.”

We were pretty sure from that point that it was a pulled elbow again. Hunter was in bed so leigh stayed home and Hugo and I went off to the hospital. It was a totally miserable night – been raining all day and still pouring when we left. The roads were terrible; I could barely make out the line markings.

It was a pretty crappy night to be out but I thought on the plus side there probably wouldn’t be many people at the hospital. In my (unfortunately significant) experience, the waiting room at the children’s hospital is often packed with people who don’t need to be there at all. I figured on a night like last night parents would only be dragging their kids out for bona fide medical emergencies, not runny noses and rashes they’ve had for three days that could have been investigated by their GPs.

Wrong! The place was packed. We waited close to an hour for triage! The triage nurse tried a couple of times to pop his arm back in, without success. He screamed and screamed and it was awful to hold him while she tortured him, but it had to be done.

Eventually she said that because there was no click and he was still not using his arm, and because there was no pull injury but rather a fall, she couldn’t rule out a fracture and we’d have to wait for an Xray. She said to expect the wait to be hours.

Fortunately the review nurse had an alternative suggestion, which was to give him some panadol, wait an hour or so and try again with the reduction.

He took half the panadol and spat the rest down my shoulder, then ran off, left arm flopping by his side, to chase bubbles, climb the play structure and try desperately to get into the waiting area beyond triage. He was not about to let a bung arm slow him down. I was bumbling after him, trying to stop him slipping on the tiled floor and hoping he’d run out of energy sooner rather than later.

We finally got booked in with the clerk and went into the waiting area. By now it was getting on for 9pm. I hadn’t brought a nappy and hugo was soaked so I got one from the desk and changed him. As I was standing him up on the change table to pull up his pants he was saying “I jump!!” and trying to throw himself off the edge.

He spent the next 15 minutes running around the waiting area, dancing, playing with the toys in his gammy one-armed way and getting more and more wired.

Finally the review nurse found us and said she’d like to try popping his arm again. Actually, she probably didn’t say anything about popping.

I was worried about hurting him again, and it did hurt him and he did cry, but this time it worked. Phew. No endless hours of waiting for an Xray of a non-existent fracture.

It was about 10pm by the time we got home. I thought Hugo would conk out and sleep hard but he woke twice during the night then was up and at ’em at six. He’s using his arm fine today and it doesn’t even seem tender.

Since this has happened twice now, there’s a fair likelihood of it happening again so we’ll probably be comfortably on track for the Most Hospital Visits in One Year award.

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